Haviah Mighty: Atlantic
The Polaris Prize winner fluently delivers a powerful message.
By Kerry Doole
Haviah Mighty - Atlantic (Independent): Given that her 2019 album, 13th Floor, won the 2019 Polaris Music Prize, it is conceivable that the Toronto hip-hop artist finds the number 13 lucky. She has defied superstition by releasing a new track, Atlantic, on Friday the 13th (November), and in a press release, she explains why.
“We're dropping Atlantic on Friday, November 13, a perceived 'unlucky' date, continuing the process of shifting thought away from discarding the unknown as we did with 13th Floor. The process of producing/labouring goods for little or no compensation is the basis of large corporations and conglomerates prospering and why some of these corporations are so successful to this day.
“In the present day, we still collectively revolve around these concepts of money and value - the importance of it is instrumental to our livelihood – and with the media, misinformation and confusion of history, we labour and produce resources for big companies, and spend our little profits on the same resources our ancestors laboured – gold, diamonds etc. Even a lot of our food is still produced at the expense of marginalized groups of people,” Haviah says.
She adds that "the singing vocals at the beginning and especially the end, are to represent our ancestors crying out – a reminder that they were so strong, so resilient, and still here, keeping us empowered. Our history is with them, and if we talk to them, learn from them, do our research – we will be stronger.”
Mighty delivers this powerful message with both authority and conviction, delivering her rhymes fluently and at a rapid pace. She is certainly a skilled wordsmith, as evidenced in such lines as "Trained from the past, we were not important. And we ain’t eat average, we grovel porridge." That's a long way from Cardi B, thankfully.
Mighty first made a mark as a member of female hip-hop group The Sorority, then grabbed attention with her solo albums Flower City (2017) and 13th Floor. She is the first hip-hop artist and the first Black woman to ever receive the prestigious Polaris Prize. Look for even bigger things to come her way.
Publicity: Ola Mazzuca, Indoor Recess
Management: Christina Cassaro, Valeo Arts Management
Booking (North America): Mike Graham, APA Agency